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Hardware Solution for IO Bottleneck

Posted on 2009-12-27
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For a Windows 2003 based SQL Server on a SAN Storage technology, having IO bottlenecks, is it true that adding spindles will help high IO for Reads, and ading more controllers will help IO writes?

can you suggest from your experience what hardware solutions have helped you to ease IO on the SAN for a busy database?

thanks
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Question by:anushahanna
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Sean Meyer earned 1332 total points
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My biggest fix was upgrading from vmware 3.5 to vshpere 4.0.   SQL on my 2003 servers was horrible until I upgraded.  Perfect after..

You have a physical  2003 machine or a virtual box?  Any more information about your environment?

And yes the spindles do help but you have to have a pretty large number of IO's before that is the problem?  What you using to determine network load?

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by:KCTS
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Adding more spindles and/or controlers will in theory increase peformance as you suggest, but in the real world the difference in minimal and costs high -  I should look elsewhere. Use performance monitor to locate the source of any bottlenecks
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by:anushahanna
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ArmyGroo, you went from virtual setup to another virtual environment. what aspects of vshpere made the difference, do you think?

it is a physical box. It has 8GB Ram, but PLE is in single digits, but no paging happening and there is enough MBytes.

My question about controllers /spindles is if controllers would only help with writes and not much with reads? why?

PerfMon indicates good performance on mem,CPU, but not disk. we have been working on fine tuning the queries, but so far, still disk response is very slow. avg_ms_per_io_READ is in 3 digits.
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by:anushahanna
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KCTS
I hope I can avoid hardware solution if I can , as you suggest through fine tuning..
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by:Sean Meyer
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The biggest difference for me was the new set of drivers in vSphere 4.0 which were controlling everything.  Check to make sure all of your hardware bios and drivers are up to date.  As the Dell server tech stated to me recently, "Keeping your systems bios and drivers up to date are a big factor in keeping your system healthy."
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by:anushahanna
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Thanks for the tip on drivers.

Any take on if controllers would only help with writes and not much with reads?

and vice versa with spindles - ie if spindles would only help with reads and not much with writes?

thanks
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by:Sean Meyer
Sean Meyer earned 1332 total points
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It really depends on what hardware you are using for your SAN.  Most SAN's give maybe 20% actual performance increase by increasing the hardware.  IE if you double your current setup you usually see about a 20% actual gain.

Some of the pricier setups like Compellent actually do increase performance proportional to your disk space. They are not too expensive if you are looking at under say 15terabit but once you start adding extra racks and controllers their prices increase much faster than other solutions.  

So what is your SAN?  
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by:anushahanna
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We use 2 of Fiber Channel 2.0 to 4GB PCI-X Single (Channel) Port HBAs on San Surfer, using IBM DS8300 arrays of IBM 2145 Disks. there are 100+ spindles, do you see any performance for writes or reads or both with more controllers.?

thanks
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